Verizon announced plans to enhance connectivity to approximately 80 Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) and tribally-operated schools located on 64 Indian reservations across 23 states. Verizon’s network investment across diverse tribal lands is expected to connect nearly 42,000 Native American students, leading to reliable, high-speed Internet service and connected devices for students in the impacted states. The work will support BIE’s mission to provide quality education opportunities from early childhood through life in accordance with a tribe’s needs for cultural and economic well-being.
Working closely with BIE, Verizon had previously upgraded existing 100MB sites that it had developed and managed since being awarded work from BIE through the Networx contract. As part of that earlier work, Verizon transitioned more than 100 schools from T1 (1.55MB speed) to 100MB connections. Today, through the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract program, Verizon has been awarded a task order that will allow the company to upgrade 80 of those schools to 1Gb internet connections.
With the increased speed and bandwidth this transition will provide, Native American students in the affected areas will be able to experience more robust technology in the classroom, a challenge Verizon has long been committed to addressing as part of their responsible business plan – Citizen Verizon – whose mission includes expanding digital access and resources to promote digital equity and inclusion. Verizon coordinated with multiple third-party access suppliers to design and engineer special access arrangements on a site by site basis.
“A quality, high-bandwidth connection is critical for students to be able to learn from wherever they are,” said Maggie Hallbach, senior vice president for Verizon Public Sector. “We believe this is a fundamental right for all students, and by upgrading the technology and infrastructure across these tribal lands with Gigabit connections, we’re helping BIE with its mission to enable a more comprehensive learning experience, preparing these students for the future.”
Students should experience the benefit of added bandwidth as early as this fall. The overall infrastructure work across the 23 states will take place through 2023.
You can find additional information on Verizon’s commitment to narrowing the digital divide by visiting the company’s Tribal Communities Support and Solutions page here.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $133.6 billion in 2021. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.